Now, I know better than to call anything regarding baseball or lack of baseball “meaningless” after the discourse over the last couple of weeks. Personally, I started off wanting to see some developing Red Sox talent in Red Sox uniforms this spring, but I ended up getting some different names playing for Boston and still getting some of the most competitive games I have ever watched. It was delightful, and almost reset my clock straight into October. As such, it hardly feels like we’re heading into anything resembling “meaningful” as there is a 162-game season yet to play, but merely that this weekend indicates a lull between pencilling in roster spots pontificating on “games back” and “extrapolating stats for the entire season.”
While guys like Jorge Alfaro, Connor Wong, and Ryan Sherriff spend the next four days worried about whether they’re taking a flight up north into Logan or Worcester Regional, we fans have the option of letting the cards play out how they may without these final games meaning anything. (Oh, there’s that word again!) Hey, the season is full of painstaking moments, we might as well enjoy the last weekend days of March without seeing the bullpen blow a game or guys that were playing at Fenway mere months ago rake for another team.
If that sounds cynical, it might be because I’m trying to calm myself down watching Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen each choke a game away to Atlanta’s AA team mere hours away (well, about 100 hours) from Corey Kluber facing off against the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day on Thursday. It could also be that four months in the bitter New England cold (even if mild in 2023) has not been enough time to forget the disaster of 2022, especially given the polarizing 2022 offseason. So, before that distaste fully sets in, or before we get pleasantly surprised... what can we do with the last weekend before Opening Day?
Watch Spring Training
For gluttons for punishment, there are still baseball games happening and important decisions for Chaim Bloom to make pertaining to the final few spots on the Red Sox roster. Who has options left? Will we exercise upward mobility for Jorge Alfaro? Who will be our fifth outfielder? Is Masa really batting cleanup? Who gets innings at shortstop? How did Justin Turner’s stitching heal so quickly? Can Triston Casas hit a ball clear into the Gulf of Mexico from Fort Myers? (That game-winner just happened on my screen.) Sure, it may be bliss to watch these games with the realization that these games truly don’t mean anything besides testing players’ situational awareness. But, this late in Spring Training, it may give us a forecast to how the season may actually go, who may be piching in what situations, when Cora may request a pitching change, etc.
Watch Another Team’s Spring Training
Because, I mean, why not? Easy to scout other players’ AAA talent who are on the fringes of making the roster so you can sound smarter comparing them to our poorly performing Major League guys. Hell, I’ve done it! Now that my secret is out, watching how other managers treat situational baseball gives us some foresight into how they’ll be when facing Boston... in theory, anyway.
Watch Replays of the Baseball Classic
Listen, coming from a class-A cynic, I have minimal complaints about the Baseball Classic and it’s clear that it was pretty universally loved. The last at-bat was the culmination of all of our collective wishes. Shohei Ohtani blowing a slider Mike Trout was a thing of beauty. It answered the question “What if a generational talent faced his MVP teammate in the final at-bat of a prestigious tournament?” Baseball fanatics could not have dreamed of a cooler moment, and seeing how players had allegiances to their diverse heritages the past few weeks makes it hard to not be romantic about baseball. Injuries be damned, it was some great baseball that ended up tracking to be extremely important to peoples’ connections to the game itself. Why not watch that this weekend?
I did a pretty wild thing back in January and drove to Cooperstown since I was off of work for the long weekend. I’m so very glad I did. There was so much to connect with. There is so much history there. Plus, there’s so much memorabilia about 2004’s historic season and the 2018’s practically unbeatable team. Regardless of how many reminders about 1986 and the Yankee’s historic success there are, it’s a guaranteed way to spend an entire day with something you love.
Visit Fenway Ahead Of Time Just To Feel Something
Why not spend $25 on one meal at Wahlburgers while singing Sweet Caroline on a Saturday afternoon with hundreds of onlookers? Some would call it public intoxication... jokes on you, I don’t drink. It’s clearly just dedication and love of the sport. What do you mean there’s no game today? You mean I circled around and had to parallel park on Queensberry and there’s not even a game? Not even an Emmanuel game?
Admit The Attachment You Have To Baseball and Sports As A Whole Might Be Unhealthy
But like... who cares? Could be a lot worse things. And hey, at least most of us like the Bruins too. If there’s ever been a more promising team.... they can’t possibly mess this up. Right? Right?
Let A Boston Common Squirrel Crawl All Over You
Subsequent paranoid WebMD searches not attached in this article. They truly are a different breed of animal up here. Where else can a squirrel put their little squirrel fingers together like that meme, and then jump up your leg and crawl around your entire body while its bushy tail tickles your arm? I promise this actually happened. Anyone who disagrees simply hasn’t been to The Common.
Talk To People About Something Besides Your Dread About This Red Sox Season
Eh... maybe next year.
No matter how you spend this final weekend of Spring Training, I hope you all have a great weekend devoid of watching blown saves or wild pitches or overthrown outfield assists or poorly planned base-running! Fingers and toes crossed!